This is an essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: Everyone agrees that Wikipedia is for readers, but there's no policy or guideline to that effect, for various fascinating reasons|
But for the benefit of its readers was removed without discussion some years ago, and there is some resistance to putting it back.
Why people want it as a principle
- It's helpful to new and old editors alike
- It's self-evident and uncontroversial
Why people don't want it in 5P1
- The fact that it's been gone for so long without discussion indicates consensus to remove it
- It's off-topic for 5P1
- It's self-evident so it doesn't belong in any policy
- It will just lead to trouble
- It's no help to anyone
- Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 17#Wikipedia exists for the readers first - or does it? January 2008
- Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_147#Readers_first? 2018 discussion, including a straw poll about restoring the phrase to 5P1, with 11 !votes in support and 7 !votes in opposition (plus one split support/oppose !vote)
- Wikipedia:Reader A reader is... the sole reason for which Wikipedia exists... The majority of visitors are readers so it is important that pages and articles are optimised for this readership. 
- Wikipedia:Readers first
- Wikipedia:Dear Reader